Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.
Online gambling for Illinois is a tricky subject to work out, and with casinos operating in the state since the 1990s and a long history of horse racing, there’s much to know about Illinois gambling sites and Illinois internet gambling.
In this article, we will discuss the legality of online gambling in Illinois, what you can and can’t do, future developments, and where the state currently is and will be with gambling over time.
NOT VALID FOR ANY PARTICIPANT OF THE ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD STATEWIDE VOLUNTARY SELF-EXCLUSION PROGRAM • MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER • IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS A GAMBLING PROBLEM, CRISIS COUNSELING AND REFERRAL SERVICES CAN BE ACCESSED BY CALLING 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) PLAYABLE ONLY IN IL
Gambling in the United States of America is changing from state to state quite regularly, so it’s absolutely crucial you’re aware of what you can and can’t do in each state and what elements of gambling are available.
For example, in Illinois, Article 28 Section 28-1 states it’s illegal to play any game of chance or skill for any valuables or any amount of cash outside of a legal gambling operator.
On the other hand, sports betting is legal in the state and Illinois can pride themselves on being one of the first states to break down this industry’s barrier. A legislation was passed for sports betting in Illinois in June 2019, and the first sports bet in the state would take place in March the following year and it remains legal throughout the state for pro sports and non-college games.
It’s also important to note the Illinois Gaming Board. They are a gaming board in the state and it is they who control the state's gaming industry. As of now, the board allows for casino play, sports betting, bingo, lottery, horse racing betting and social casinos, but they still, however, are yet to allow for online casino play. Developments are ongoing in this area, but for now, online gambling Illinois does not allow for casino or poker play.
Whilst casinos and horse racing have been active in Illinois and much of the United States for a few decades, sports betting in the country is still not as freely available as we would like. Here, however, Illinois gambling sites are able to have sports betting as it has been completely legal since 2019, making them one of the leading states in this field.
In 2021, Illinois internet gambling allows for six online sportsbooks with BetRivers coming in June 2020. DraftKings and FanDuel would soon follow a month later, with PointsBet arriving on the Illinois internet gambling scene in September 2020. Barstool and William Hill are the latest additions to Illinois online gambling for sports betting.
Elsewhere, casinos, stadiums and racetracks can apply for sports gambling licenses in the state, but with this area still in its infancy across the state, we don’t see much of this just yet. So, whilst you may be wondering "Is gambling legal in all states?" if you’re in Illinois, you have plenty of options to choose from.
Similar to Iowa gambling sites, we advise checking out DraftKings, where you can get a $1000 welcome bonus. DraftKings is one of America’s leading sportsbooks, and for online gambling in Illinois, they are as good as it gets.
At CaptainGambling, we aim to answer all questions like "Is online gambling legal in Louisiana?" so it’s important to know what you can and can’t do in each state, and casino play in Illinois is a tricky one.
Illinois is home to a select few casinos, but given the size of the state, there are not that many right now for everyone in the state to attend, with two of them in Kane and two in Joliet. In 1990, Illinois enacted a riverboat casino law, which authorized licenses for 10 casinos to open around the state, all of which remain open to this day. Casino Queen was the first, and you can find this in East St. Louis, St. Clair.
In Joliet, Will, you will be able to attend two casinos in this city and Harrah's Joliet and the Hollywood Casino Joliet are the two casinos you will find in this city. Harrah's Joliet is one of the most popular in the state, with 1,138 slot machines, 204 hotel rooms and four restaurants.
Harrah's Metropolis is down in Metropolis, Massac, and over in Alton, Madison, you will find the popular Argosy Casino Alton, which is one of the oldest in the state. East Peoria, Tazewell also has the Par-A-Dice Casino and you can attend the Jumer's Casino & Hotel in Rock Island, Rock Island, which was voted the Quad Cities' #1 casino according to a poll conducted by the Quad City Times.
As mentioned, Kane county has two casinos, with the Hollywood Casino in Aurora and the Grand Victoria Casino Elgin.
What does the future hold for casino gaming in Illinois?
With only 10 casinos in Illinois, more could open up over the coming years, however, there isn’t legal online casino gaming in Illinois just yet. However, back on February 19, 2021, State Representative, Bob Rita, introduced the Internet Gaming Act, which would bring online slot and table games to the state. We’re still waiting for this to take action, but it is expected that Illinois has online casino play as we approach 2022.
We advise heading for our comparison table at CaptainGambling, so you can find every single online casino operator there. This table will list everything you need to know about online gambling in Illinois, so you can find the very best operator for you, the best bonuses, which operators over what, and ultimately, get set up with the best one for you super easy.
As the Internet Gaming Act is currently in motion, online operators will no doubt flock to Illinois rapidly once it all begins for the people of the state. Illinois is one of the most populated states in the country, so no doubt we will begin to see online gambling really take off when it is possible to do so. With this said, however, that does mean online poker in Illinois doesn’t yet have a platform.
Global Poker is a sweepstakes model that will legally offer online poker, but as of now, just like casino games, we must wait for the state to get the legislation finalized and in motion in Illinois before we can start to play online poker elsewhere, but given that online casinos are coming, so will poker.
Fantasy sports in Illinois
Daily fantasy sports and Illinois gambling laws are pretty contentious as the state continues to move through legislations regarding gambling online and in person, but as daily fantasy sports is played for free, there are no issues in getting set up here. The reasoning being for the state's heated attitude towards fantasy sports, is because there have been a few attempts to regulate it through the years, although bills haven't managed to make it through the legislative process.
DraftKings and Fanduel are two of the first sites to provide daily fantasy sports in Illinois and they remain the two most popular in the country due to their apps and spectacular service for fantasy sports. There is also Monkey Knife Fight, who are one of the newer online operators for fantasy sports in the state.
Fantasy sports is legal throughout most of the country, but with certain states associating it too closely with gambling, you might be wondering "Is online gambling legal in Maryland?" or other states. If so, we have all the answers here at CaptainGambling.
In today's modern world and with the United States legalizing gambling now rather than before things like social media, social casinos have become some of the most popular ways in which people are able to play. A social casino is a casino online through a website or an app platform where you can play casino games with your online friends, and it differs from online gambling in that it does not require the player to risk any money.
As mentioned earlier online gambling in Illinois is set to be available soon, but Article 28 Section 28-1 states it’s illegal to play any game of chance or skill for money and other valuables in Illinois outside of an operator, so it’s important you know the licensing for who you’re playing with on a social casino.
Social casinos are free to play and are even available on popular networking sites like Facebook, and because they don’t rely on real money wagering, social casino sites are 100% legal in Illinois. Chumba is one of the best sites in the state to use, as they have an array of options to play, such as 3-card poker, blackjack, 3-card poker and many slot games.
Other betting options in Illinois
It’s important to be aware of the betting options in other states too, as online gambling in Indiana, for example, will differ from Illinois. With sports betting being legal along with 10 casinos around the state keeping residents occupied as we wait for online gambling in Illinois, there are options beyond these for gamblers to choose from. Let’s take a look at what each of them involves.
Illinois is home to the Arlington Park race track, which is the state's signature track. Elsewhere, the Hawthorne Race Course has been around since 1891, whilst the Fairmount Park is over in Collinsville. Online gambling in Illinois also allows for horse racing bets to be placed.
Esports is another way of online gambling and it is one that is getting more popular as time goes on. However, online gambling in Illinois does not accept esports betting just yet, and in reality, it is going to be one that takes a while to get legalized nationwide, with much of the esports audience being under the age of 21.
As with most states, however, online gambling in Illinois allows for the lottery and the unique Illinois Lottery is one of the few operators across the country that allows you to play the lottery online. Their website allows you to buy state-run and national lottery tickets, such as Lotto Extra Shot, Mega Millions, and Pick 4.
In 2021, Illinois is also home to 303 bingo halls across the state and is 100% legal to play in.
Editor’s recommendation — the best operator for Illinois
Now that we’ve answered the question, is online gambling legal in Illinois?, it’s time to find the best operator for you!
As of now, as online casino and poker play is not legal, our choice for your gambling operator in Illinois is DraftKings. They are one of America’s leading betting operators, with years of daily fantasy sports experience and the latest casino play, for those states that do legalize it online.
You can get a bonus of up to $1000 with DraftKings, and with some of the best odds, their exceptional app, and their array of options to bet on, it doesn’t get much better than them for online gambling in Illinois.
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply, 18+
Get DraftKings Casino Bonus
What does the future hold for betting and gaming in Illinois?
As of 2021, Illinois is one of the best states for gambling. The state allows for a variety of options such as sports betting, the lottery and casino play but there is still a lot to be done before allowing complete legality across the state for any form of gambling.
Esports is one of the industries that is growing year on year, but gambling in this area remains scarce, mainly due to the audience this attracts, and in Illinois this is not legal to bet on.
However, times are moving fast for the state, and online casinos and online poker are set to be available for Illinois residents soon. For now, however, most of the ways to gamble are legal in the state, and over time, the last few barriers should be knocked down.
Conclusion - a state that continues to grow with gambling
Online gambling in Illinois is one of the more complex areas. The state does allow for much of the gambling world to operate within its borders and online, but there is still plenty of legislation to be passed over time before we see a completely legal status in Illinois.
As a result of the great options to play with, there is an array of options for Illinoinans to choose from. Nevertheless, times are changing regularly for gambling in this state and we’re here to update you on the latest news when it happens.
Gambling laws across US states tend to vary as there are so many factors that affect whether sportsbooks, casinos and online gambling, etc., are legalized. To find out what types of gambling are legal in your state, if any, have a read of our insightful state-specific guides that take you through the history, current legal status and future of gambling in each state.
🏈 Can I bet on college sports in Illinois?
Some states will allow for betting on college sports, but others do not due to the age of those who you are betting on. It’s crucial you’re aware of what you can and can’t bet on in each state, so be sure to have a thorough read of each states’ legality here at CaptainGambling.
⚽ What are the best sportsbooks on offer in Illinois?
For those looking for online gambling in Illinois, there are options now that sportsbooks are legal in the state. We have put together comprehensive guides and reviews for each sportsbook, and you should check them out to get the best one for you!